Friday, May 18, 2007

day two of the great escape

Not sure how today will play out, given that this afternoon I am attending Sandra's funeral (stomach already in knots about that), but I enjoyed putting together a plan for last night's Great Escape gigs, so I'll do the same for tonight even if I'm not sure what I'll be doing. To be honest, I don't think today's line-up is generally as good as last night's, which is why I've left off a few of the bigger acts who I'm not bothered about. It's jerky punky indie night, basically, and everyone sounds the bloody same. But the following bunch are much more interesting.

Navel at the Ocean Rooms: They still listen to Nirvana in Switzerland, hurrah! Well, Navel do, at least. The lone representatives of a slow-starting grunge revival, apparently, Navel do the quiet/very fucking loud Seattle thing surprisingly well. Tempting.

Cocoon at the Hope: tender, very melodic pop in an acoustic vein by this Parisien duo; everything I've heard sounds delicate and precise, and rather marvellous.
The Ripps at Kabuki: tuneful but noisy britpop-esque indie from Coventry (they even cover The Specials), The Ripps do snotty, bratty Coxonesque pop music, with lots of straight lines, and that suits me.
I Was A Cub Scout at Zap: tapping into the electronic and emotional indie sound of the Postal Service and stuff like that, I Was A Cub Scout are from Nottingham and make mini electronic epics with live drums - they sound good.

The Kissaway Trail at the Concorde 2: This lot trade in that nice, atmospheric vein of wide eyed and naive indie, recalling Mercury Rev and Daniel Johnston. Hailing from Denmark, they sound like a good alternative to all the shouty stuff on tonight.
Lay Low at the Pavillion Theatre: a female take on warped country blues, this lovely music actually comes from, of all places, Iceland, which you'd never guess. Sounds brilliant.
The Early Years at the Pressure Point: Nothing new about this lot, but you have to go some to beat their Stereolab/Spaceman 3/Neu style krautrock - all metronomic drumbeats, droning guitars and layered atmospherics.

Oh No Ono at the Beach: ultra-mathematical Clor/Devo/80s synth pop from Copenhagen, this sounds completely bonkers. Bonkers and ace, and confusing. Ok then!

Help She Can't Swim at the Arc: it would be churlish of me to leave HSCS off the list just because they're a local band, but that does mean I'm much less likely to go see them this weekend, even though their furious indie/DC punk stuff is a proven pleasure.

We're Marching On at the Prince Albert: a bit out of the way, geography-wise, but then We're Marching On are from Canada. They sound ace, quite unusual and awkward - not immediately accessible but very interesting, kind of like a Midlake, Arcade Fire hybrid. Worth a try.
We Are The Physics at the Pressure Point: more quirky Devo-inspired powerpop, and very interesting. Angular guitar lines, yelped vocals, buzzing synths and stop-start melodies. I like the sound of We Are The Physics.

The Rakes at the Concorde 2: Bound to be one of the big draws of the evening, I've always found myself conflicted on the Rakes - although the first album contained several great tunes ('Strasbourg' and '22 Grand Job' were ace) the lyrics were really unlikeable. The second album is less interesting musically but not as sneery. Either way, this is an option for the headline slot.
Spencer McGarry Season at the Prince Albert: Pretty, chiming indie pop recalling an ultra tuneful Talking Heads having a go at Motown and 50's doo-wap. That's probably a terrible description. they sound quite good, though.
iLIKETRAiNS at the Pressure Point: Yes, I know, the presentation of their name in that mix of big and small caps is just unbearable, but iLIKETRAiNS did release one of the most interesting singles of last year, in their brilliant 'Spencer Perceval', which outlined, over nine and a half minutes, the only successful assasination of a British Prime Minister. And this is likely to be one of the gigs of the weekend. What do they sound like? Like a lazy blend of British Sea Power and Leonard Cohen.

Art Brut at the Corn Exchange: The CSS of the evening, you suspect, Art Brut are just fantastic and this is sure to be one of the best gigs of the weekend; fiery, savvy punk-pop with smattering of knowing hilarity.

Willy Mason at the Pavillion Theatre: The grown up option, this is sure to be lovely, and if you were sensible you'd probably note that you're far more likely to see Art Brut and The Rakes around Brighton regularly, whereas having Mason's gentle lilting teenage country folk over here is a real novelty, and worth catching.

Enid Blitz at the Prince Albert: I was in the pub with a couple of this lot last week, although didn't do much more than wave accross the table. They sound good, actually, clean, melodic indie pop with nice lyrics - very much the gentle, cheerful option and could be a good way to wrap up, if you can't stand the thought of the queues elsewhere. A night at the Prince Albert, all the way through, by the way, could be an unexpected option for the tired but curious.

Foals at the Concorde 2: I'm not actually very enamoured with Foals' take on the whole bleepy nu-rave thing, but then I don't like Klaxons either. But they're undoubtedly very hip and this'll be the place to go if you want to chuck glowsticks around and gurn like you're on ecstacy, even though you're not really and are just drinking Stella Artois.

The Dub Pistols at The Beach: 2.30am!!! Goodness me. I'll be long tucked up in bed.

Right, so what is my route going to be? I dunno this time. I'm tempted to write off the big headliners, but I think Anne-So and Vic will want to see one of them. And I'm very tempted to just spend the entire evening at the Pressure Point, or even the Prince Albert. Or go to the Crescent and have an evening off! But I'll have a go at piecing together a varied agenda...

7.45 The Ripps (Kabuki)
8.15 Lay Low (Pressure Point)
9.00 We're Marching On (Prince Albert)
10.00 iLikeTrains (Pressure Point)
10.45 Willy Mason (Pavillion Theatre)